A lot of the information out there surrounding conversion rates is incorrect, misleading, or just plain useless. Between the “game-changing” optimization strategies that should really be everyday best practices at this point and the increasing number of marketers looking to sell you their optimization strategies just to make a buck, it’s hard to get the truth behind the conversion process.
In this guide, we will discuss the basics of conversion rates for those new to the industry or who need a quick refresher. We’ll also delve into the importance of accurate conversion tracking and provide you with at least 15 conversion hacks you can implement immediately for instant results. By the time you finish this guide, you’ll be able to:
Understand conversion rates, conversion types, and how to affect them with your actions
Increase your conversion rates by as much as 50% in a single day
Make instant, simple changes to create a ripple effect that can lead to long-term conversion improvements
Track your conversions effectively and understand how improper tracking negatively impacts your conversions, as well as your bottom line
Ready to get started? Read on.
Conversion Rates 101: The Basics
You can’t expect to succeed at boosting your conversions if you don’t know what that means. Whether you think you kind of get a general idea or you’re totally clueless, it’s a fairly simple concept. A conversion is simply when someone comes to your website and then goes on to complete a specific desired action (such as a sale). Thus, conversion rates refer to the percentage of visitors that convert to sales (or other desired actions).
Most eCommerce stores can expect to have a conversion rate of around two percent (2%). That might not seem like much, but if your website is getting 500 visitors a day, that means you’re generating about 10 sales or actions. Bear in mind that the top 25% of companies across all industries have landing page conversion rates closer to five percent (5%). With the conversion hacks in this guide, you’ll be able to get much closer to that top number.
Another important thing to understand about conversion rates is that you have different ones, depending on the actions that you want people to take. Aside from purchase conversions, some other common actions could include:
Of course, the end goal is generally to create a paying customer that purchases a product or service. By breaking down the sales funnel into measurable steps, however, it may be easier to focus in and improve conversions in each area to create a better conversion rate overall. The list below offers a variety of conversion tips for all areas and types of conversions to help you get started.
15 Conversion Hacks for Instant Results
1. Make Forms Simple
People are in a hurry, now more than ever. They don’t have the time or patience to fill out a 24-field form. And in most cases, whatever you are offering isn’t worth that much effort anyway. Don’t take it personally—just be realistic. Give people the simplest opt-in forms for email campaigns and other marketing efforts.
One case study showed how the addition of a single field can decrease conversions by as much as 11%. Asking for a name and email is a must, but beyond that, what information do you actually need? Instead of getting a full address for geolocation purposes, ask for just a zip or postal code instead, or include the full address fields but make them optional. There are ways to get the information you want without asking too much of your visitors.
2. Use Action Words
A passive voice has no place in conversion content. Make sure that your calls to action (and the rest of your website content) include action language and an active voice that encourages visitors to do something. Most people do this without thinking about it, but some people think a passive voice sounds more professional or less “salesy”, so they’ll try to use it. It doesn’t work. You need to tell people what to do.
Examples of actionable phrases:
Grab yours now!
Reserve your copy today!
Call us right away!
3. Check (and Double-Check) Your Headline
The headline(s) on your landing page and other areas of your website are what will catch people’s attention and get them to engage with your site. Take the time to brainstorm 5-10 different headline options and use headline analyzer tools to help choose the strongest option.
4. Make the Benefits Clear
Everyone loves a good bullet list of product or service features, but what people really want to know is:
How do these features benefit me?
Explain to your visitors exactly what they get from your product or service. In no uncertain terms, list and provide details of all of the benefits and value-added features so that people know precisely what they are paying for. Not only does this guarantee that they understand their purchase, but it makes them see just how much they're getting for their money.
5. Provide Dedicated PPC Landing Pages
Your home page could serve as a landing page, but that’s going to make your website look way too salesy from the start. Keep a standard business website and employ the use of dedicated landing pages for your PPC or AdWords campaigns. Not only will this allow you to create landing pages with better conversion power, but it will make it easier for you to track your conversions and your ad clickthrough rates so you can measure the success of your marketing efforts.
6. Include Testimonials
Testimonials and reviews offer tangible social proof for would-be customers who are looking to see what other people think of a business, product, or service. Third-party reviews are overabundant and hard to moderate, so make sure that you offer high-quality, vetted testimonials and reviews for your visitors to give them more peace of mind in their decision. Make sure that testimonials are relevant to the action that you are attempting to achieve with visitors for the best results.
7. Provide Subscriber/Follower Counts
Much like testimonials, subscriber or social follower counts are a great way to give people proof of your value proposition and the benefits of choosing your brand, product, or service. Proof is the best way to convince people of anything, and the more you provide, the easier it will be to convert visitors any way that you want. You can even include an updatable ballpark figure in your email opt-in or forms, such as:
“Join our 2,540 other subscribers and find out what you’ve been missing.”
“Our 15K social media followers can’t be wrong- see why they rely on us for their [insert product or service] needs.”
Aside from a counter or social button, adding this information to your content will ensure that people see it even if they overlook the counters. Plus, there is proof in numbers, so your conversion rates will instantly increase if you start showcasing your stats.
8. Offer Assistance and Related Products
Anyone can sell a product or service. What they provide along with it, however, is often what makes the difference in conversions for a lot of visitors. Make sure that you’re offering valuable information and assistance to your visitors in addition to any products or services that you are selling. If you can suggest related or alternative products (because not EVERY visitor needs what you have), you’ll be appreciated as a trusted authority within your industry.
When people trust you, they’re more likely to invest in your brand. Whether that is by downloading something, buying a product or service, or even just subscribing to a mailing list or website membership doesn’t matter. Trust equals action. That's all you need to know.
9. Make Sure All Content Has a Strong CTA (Call-to-Action)
Your call to action (CTA) should be on every page that you publish, and it should be strong, actionable, and persuasive. Also, consider adding a CTA button in addition to a link, as buttons tend to catch people’s attention and are easier to find on a webpage. Your CTA should urge the consumer to take some kind of action, advise them of how you can help, and connect them to your website, sales page, or another link where they can move forward with the conversion process.
Your CTA should also relate to the content on the page so that it flows accordingly, and doesn’t look like you just plopped an “act now!” paragraph at the bottom of each page to increase the chances of clickthrough. If you choose to add a button, test it out in various locations, colors, and sizes to see which ones get the most attention.
10. Stop Showboating—Get to the Point
Today’s consumers are beyond falling for content that’s just a bunch of hype and no substance. Don’t belittle them by creating copy that is over-hyped and boastful. If you really want conversions, you need to provide compelling, clearly written content that offers information and assistance to help your visitors make a decision on their next move (whether that is a purchase or any other action).
Ten years ago, you might have been able to create a landing page full of sales hype and showmanship and people would jump on it because it’s new and exciting. Unfortunately, today’s Internet has worn out the welcome of this type of material. What’s worse is that a number of consumers actually associate this kind of no-substance content as a potential scam or red flag, so not only will they not fall for it, but they could end up developing a negative association with your brand.
Today’s consumer expects mutual trust and respect. Give them that by providing clear, direct content that explains what you offer and why it benefits them.
11. Make Your Value Proposition Clear
Consumers are savvy, and they don’t appreciate it when they aren’t seen as such. Much like avoiding the hype, you need to have a clear explanation of your product or service, including:
What are the possible uses/needs?
What benefits or features are included?
What will the product or service look like and how will it be delivered?
Who benefits the most from this product or service?
What makes yours better than similar services or products?
People don’t have a lot of time or energy to waste trying to solve a great mystery about online products and services. If you hand out as much of the information as you can upfront, your visitors will thank you. In many cases, those thanks will come in the form of conversions.
12. Remove Distractions from Landing Pages
The page where your conversion pitch takes place needs to be easy to follow. Get rid of excessive ads, don’t overload the page with paragraphs of content, and remove distractions so that your visitors can focus on exactly what they need to. Use the aforementioned CTA buttons, directional cues, and other features to help visitors navigate through the page and perform the actions you desire. Consider a single column layout for an even simpler look.
A single navigation bar may be fine, but don’t clog the page with toolbars, menus, links, or other distracting items that take away from your overall goal. Your landing and conversion pages need to focus only on getting a visitor to perform a specific action. If anything on the page isn’t a means to that end, get rid of it.
Right now, privacy is paramount. As people get more and more robocalls, texts, and emails from spammers trying to steal information, it's important to make sure that your visitors know that you are serious about their privacy. Consider revising the wording of your policy to help increase conversions. In one experiment, a minimal wording change actually increased conversions by up to 19%.
14. Leave Form Fields Optional
If your product or service requires you to ask for numerous types of information, try to make as many fields optional as you possibly can. The fewer required fields on a form, the more likely a user will complete it. Thanks to smart technology, people often have their name and email address saved with an auto-fill server. If you need more information than this, try to limit it by stage.
For example, if the visitor has just arrived and you want an email capture, get their email, and maybe their name. As they progress through the site and the conversion process, you can prompt them to provide additional information as it is needed. You aren’t going to need their physical shipping address until they actually complete a purchase, for example, so you can leave those fields optional on your email opt-in, or leave them out altogether and collect the information later.
This goes back to the case study mentioned earlier where the removal of a single field increased conversions significantly. Keep it simple whenever you can.
15. Provide an Online Chat Feature
People aren’t looking to work hard to get answers. If your website has an instant chat feature that allows visitors to reach out and ask questions or get clarification, you’re going to see much better conversion rates than if you only have a contact submission form or phone and email customer service. The easier it is for people to reach you, the more trusting they feel. Don’t spam them with chatbots and pop-ups, by any means, but make sure that the feature is available for those who need it.
In order to be able to see how your conversions are doing, you have to track them effectively. In a number of cases, optimization companies come in to make improvements, only to realize that the company has been improperly tracking conversion rates all along, or not tracking them at all.
What does this mean?
Essentially, it means that you could have great conversion rates and not even know it. More importantly, you can’t improve on a metric like this without knowing its current stance. How can you make something better if you don’t know what “better” actually is?
Quite frankly, implementing an effective tracking strategy that includes every conversion you are already getting is a surefire way to improve your conversion rate, and it doesn’t require any major changes on your part. Once you implement tracking that accounts for ALL your conversions from every source, your conversion rate could easily double overnight!
Get the best conversion tracking tools and strategies for your website now. Our team can help increase conversions and improve tracking, and give your conversion rates a serious boost with minimal effort on your part. Call us today to get started or click below for more information.